Even though I haven’t lived in the place of my birth and upbringing, the Big Apple, for over 40 years, and spent most of my first 21 years dreaming of getting out of the city and adopting country life, I have to say that I wouldn’t have traded some of the experiences I had growing up there. When other kids were having school trips to local sights of educational interest, my class trips were to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the U.N, Shakespeare in the Park, The Statue of Liberty, and several trips to the top of the Empire State Building, to name just a few. In high school the honor roll kids got to go to a Wednesday matinee of a Broadway play. As wonderful and educational as it was, one of my favorite parts of growing up there was how casual New Yorkers are to seeing famous people on the street – they’re just too “uptown” to shriek and point.
When the English Invasion hit New York City (The Beatles and those that came after them for those of you too young to remember), you could find some of them taking a stroll through Central Park before they appeared on the Sunday Ed Sullivan Show. When I got older and was working in the city, some of us would go out after work on a Friday night. It wasn’t unusual to see football legend Joe Namath standing outside of a club in that famous, huge fur coat of his, smiling and waving with a girl on each arm. Comedian Nipsy Russell used to stand on street corners reciting his hilarious poetry. Peter, Paul and Mary, and other folk greats, could be found in and around the coffee houses in the village. Everyone took it in stride and so did I for the most part except for one thing … I had a burning desire to meet Cary Grant!
Okay, now I’m really showing my age. Cary Grant, for you youngsters, was the original Mr. Dreamy. He was handsome, debonair, smart, romantic, witty, and my idea of the perfect man. I watched him in “An Affair to Remember” so many times I’ve lost count, and cried at the end each and every time. From age 18 to 21 when I was working in Manhattan, Cary Grant had come on board as the spokesperson and member of the board of directors for Faberge, a cosmetics company. Because I worked in the corporate headquarters of a textile manufacturer, I always had a copy of Women’s Wear Daily, the bible of the fashion industry, at hand, which also gave out which important person was in town. That’s how I knew when HE was in the city attending a board meeting. I would take my lunch hour and go stand across the street from the Faberge offices just to hopefully catch a glimpse of him coming or going. I did this for months and months until, one day, finally, a limo pulled up and he came out of the building to get in it. My heart stopped and, unfortunately, so did my feet. I was rooted to the spot. Here he was, my hero, my perfect man, and I couldn’t move. Just before he got into the car, he looked up … and smiled that beautiful smile. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! It was all over in an instant, but it is engraved into my heart and my memory for all time.
All of us have our own ideas of what makes someone a hero, or a knight in shinning armor, or a model of greatness. Each of us has that one person that we would give our eye teeth and a pint of blood to meet even for a moment. Maybe you already have. Or, maybe they have already passed from this life to the next. Who and what they represented to you is still crystal clear in your mind. What they mean to you has a place in your authentic life because it is a part of who you are. It is only natural, then, that their contribution to your own identity is worth recognizing and exploring.
So this week I’m going to ask you: who is your Cary Grant? Who is that one person you would give the world to spend just an hour with? Who has had a lasting impact on your life? We all have them, and often we don’t even realize what ideals and beliefs they have left stamped on our ideas about ourselves and about life. So head on over to the Home Page and get ready for a little hero worship!
Peace and blessings.